01.Exercise for your heart
In case we needed further evidence to show how crucial exercise is for heart health, a new Queensland study reports that from age 30, physical inactivity more than any other factor affects a woman’s lifetime risk of developing heart disease.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that between the ages of 30 and 90, low physical activity levels had the greatest impact on heart disease risk in Australian women – more so than high BMI, smoking and high blood pressure, the other key risk factors. Eliminating physical inactivity would prevent 33% of heart disease cases among middle-age women, and 24% of heart disease cases among older women, the researchers estimated. For women under 30, however, smoking had the greatest influence on heart disease risk.
In performing their calculations, researchers used data for prevalence of these risk factors from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health – with a study group of more than 32,000 Australian women - and relative risk of these factors from the Global Burden of Disease Study.
Physical activity promotion and maintenance programs must be given greater public health priority, the researchers conclude.